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Podcast promoting Cook Islands gain popularity

Wednesday 3 November 2021 | Written by Alana Musselle | Published in Local, National

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Podcast promoting Cook Islands gain popularity
Chantal Napa shares a laugh with Lady Tuaine Marsters who was one of the guests on the podcast. 21110201

The Kia Orana Podcast is celebrating their big success that a quiet year of celebrating and advocating for local interests has brought them.

The podcast was launched in May of 2020 by business partners Chantal Napa and Haydn Adams. It was initiated by Haydn who wrote a book about the Cook Islands; How I Fell In Love With an Island. Napa discovered the book while on holiday in Aitutaki and reached out to him. A friendship was formed and not long after that the Kia Orana Podcast was created, with Napa offering a local perspective on various parts about island life and Haydn offering the visitor’s lens on the many beautiful islands of the Cooks.

Eighteen months into the venture, and with over 8200 downloads, 73 countries, 623 cities, and 11 platforms, the two are celebrating their success of having their podcast reach one third of the world.

The podcast is devoted to advocating what visitors will and will not find in the Cook Islands and delving into all the aspects of local life.

Since starting they have covered a number of genres including current affairs, education, youth, agriculture, government departments, non-government organisations, society and culture, business, the creative arts, literature, artists, musicians, performers, sports, as well as the pa metua community. They have featured a number of local guests speak, including Prime Minister Mark Brown.

Napa said: “It has given me so much joy during this whole Covid pandemic to be able to amalgamate all this information and content for you on these platforms and also on our website.”

She said making the podcast available on so many platforms helped them to cover so much of the globe already as they wanted to cater to different countries who listen on different platforms. “Haydn makes digital magic happen,” she said, acknowledging the balance that both their perspectives and skills give to the show.

The podcast is currently available on 11 different platforms including Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcast, Overcast, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Castro, Castbox, Pocket Casts, Podfriend and RSS Feed. 

Out of the 73 countries they are currently reaching, the Cook Islands is the top with 38 per cent listening. New Zealand holds 24 per cent of the podcast’s listeners, with the USA at 16 per cent, and Australia at 9 per cent. The rest of the listeners come from Ireland, the UK, Canada, India, Germany, Japan, France, New Caledonia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, French Polynesia, and China.

Chantal Napa interviewing Tinomana Tokerau on the Kia Orana podcast. 21110202

“There is so much information available for Cook Islanders everywhere, with up to date information and interviews with locals here,” Napa said.

“I thought everyone should know that they’re the biggest listeners. The Cook Islands have been the number one listener since the beginning,” she said, highlighting that it’s always been first and foremost about the people.

“It’s great how quickly I can find and share these stories. People can access these stories anywhere in the world.”

Napa described the podcast as a ‘Local Google’ because she has been able to interview so many different locals and individuals who all do so many different things on the island, leaving so much information all documented and in one place but across 11 different platforms.

“Anything we do we have to have a why. The why was ‘The Cook Islands has so much magic but it’s not all available digitally or being documented,” she explained.

All in all, Napa said that she loved how the show enabled her to promote the Cook Islands and document its magic. A plan on the backburner to write a book containing content from the top 20 stories from 2020 and 2021 is in the works which Napa is excited to share with the people of the Cook Islands soon.